2020 is becoming the year of the social media crypto scam hackers after raiders took control of the YouTube accounts belonging to a 2.43 million-subscriber Brazilian channel – filling it up with videos promoting an XRP scam.
In a video from UniversoCurioso, the channel’s operator David Damasceno explained that hackers obtained access to his YouTube account, posting live-streamed videos that contained bogus information about a fake XRP 100 million giveaway.
In order to take part, users were asked to send XRP 2,000 to 150,000 to a wallet address, with promises of a twofold return – tactics similar to those used in a recent spate of Twitter hacks.
Damasceno launched his channel three years ago and uses the platform to discuss popular science, history, and theories about aliens.
He says he was duped by a contact request from individuals apparently based overseas who promised to provide him with a new video editing tool named the Zenium App and advertising revenues. This tool, however, proved to be a piece of malware that – within 10 minutes of downloading – completely locked him out of his YouTube account.
The hackers then got to work fast – changing the channel’s logo to an XRP symbol and beginning a live broadcast.
When Damasceno realized what had happened, per a video he shared on a temporary new channel, he says the hackers offered him a bitcoin (BTC) reward worth around USD 10,000 if he let them continue broadcasting crypto scam videos on the UniversoCurioso channel.
Damasceno says he refused, determined that all he wanted was to get his channel back.
Some 26,000 viewers are reported to have watched the videos before, six hours later, Damasceno regained control over the channel – and promptly deleted the scam videos and posts.
This was not the first XRP nor another cryptocurrency scam on YouTube, as crypto giveaway scammers have become increasingly active this year. As a result, Ripple announced a lawsuit against the video-sharing platform several months ago, to which YouTube replied that it cannot be held liable for any third-party content.
Besides, the platform has been trying to improve its efficiency in removing crypto scams, which resulted in atakedown of multiple legitimate cryptocurrency channels and caused widespread discontent from many popular crypto content creators whose livelihood depend on their YouTube following. The situation has also prompted a search for more decentralized video-sharing alternatives to YouTube.